I lunched yesterday at Lovely: A Bakeshop, a little bakery right around the corner from my apartment, as I had a Groupon needing to be used.
I started with a pain au chocolat. Although it was smaller than I would have liked, it was delicious. Flakey, buttery, that crisp outer layer — this was no cheap supermarket croissant; this was the real deal. The chocolate was dark and actual chocolate, not that grainy, oversweet paste found in substandard chocolate croissants.
My sandwich. It was delicious — small, certainly (maybe half the size of the paninis I’ve been served other places), but very tasty. The pesto was fresh and garlicky, the bread was nicely toasted and crispy, and the red onions were just the right touch (I’d considered leaving them off because I’m not a fan of raw onions, but I’m glad I didn’t) to give it a bit of bite and make it stand out.
The tomato soup was less impressive. It tasted almost as much of carrots and vegetables as it did of tomatoes. I also generally like a creamier tomato soup, and this one was almost more like ground vegetables in broth. It was good, but for three dollars (which bought me a little cup), I’d rather have gotten a slice of the tart, or two of the mini-cupcakes, or a few cookies. I don’t know what I was thinking.
On to the cupcake: I don’t like cream cheese frosting. I never have — there’s something about the weird tanginess that I just find unappetizing. Nevertheless, I’d heard really good things about the carrot cake cupcake, so I decided to get it, even though it has the dreaded cream cheese frosting. The frosting surprised me: it has little flecks of vanilla bean, it’s incredibly creamy and silky smooth, and it’s actually kind of good (which means that if you are a fan of cream cheese frosting, you’ll probably adore it). It has raisins, which is rather unfortunate, but I also tasted toasted walnuts, which were a nice touch. The cake part itself was moist, hearty, and had bits of carrots throughout.
Overall, it was a nice visit to the bakery. The people were very nice — very patient with me as I tried to figure out how to best spend my $15. It’s a cute bakery, only two blocks away from my apartment, and offers free wireless. Some things (mostly the more substantial foods) were more expensive than I would generally pay, but others (the $1.75 mini-cupcakes, for example) are nicely priced for a small treat.
Another fabulous thing about Lovely that I can’t believe I forgot to add — it has a lovely, accessible unisex (gender-neutral) restroom. Given how small the door to the bakery is, I’m not certain whether Lovely itself is wheelchair-accesible, but the restroom is. And it’s non-gendered, so, points for Lovely!